WIP Wednesday: International Knits

I haven’t posted one of these in a long time. Here is what I’m working on…

First is this pink linen blouse I started in the middle of November. The pattern is called Asagi by Bristol Ivy. I’m using a lovely rose pink linen Polish yarn a friend sent me. It looks scruffy on the needles, but the stitches should even out in the first wash.

I have what feels like miles and miles of stockinette to go. That’s why I also started…

… this vest for the new baby, Squirt. It is called Sigga by Sanne Bjerregaard, a Danish designer. I recently discovered her and love so many of her designs. It features an all-over mock-cable ribbing. The “cabling” is resembles bubbles, to me. So I’m hoping to find some cute turtle or fish buttons for the front. The buttons are only decorative, so can be cutesy and won’t make trouble fitting through a buttonhole!

I’m using the blue yarn left from the Garland Socks I knit. It is very soft and wonderful to work. With the leftover gray, I might make an accompanying hat using the mock-cable rib. Squirt will have something nice to wear next fall/winter.

Those are the knits I’ve been working on lately.

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She Knits: Garland Socks

I have wanted to knit color work socks for a long time. After tackling various other stranded projects (the Clayoquot set for JB, for example), I decided it was time to try socks.

Progression Info
Started – October 2
Completed – November 14
Duration – 43 days = 6.1 weeks

Pattern Info
Garland Socks by Lesley Melliship
Ravelry

I had this pattern in my favorites for a long time. I made a few modifications.

I knit one plain round before starting the ribbing I like how the edge looks even done this way. I knit 1×1 twisted rib instead of the 2×2 plain ribbing instructed. I made the toe more rounded by doing the first 20 decreases as described, but then the last 10 by decreasing every round.

The second sock accidentally finished bigger than the first. I think I just knit the foot more loosely the second time. I was more comfortable with the pattern and working with two colors by that point. The socks don’t have a snug fit anyway and will be cozy cuddle-up-by-the-fire socks, so I’m not worried enough about the difference to fix it.

Yarn Info
Valley Yarns Huntington
75% merino wool, 25% nylon
Colorways – light grey heather, arctic
1.74 skeins = 379.32 yds used

These colors do not have as high of contrast as is usually found in stranded color work. I did this on purpose, for two reasons. First, lower contrast between the colors hides mistakes. Second, I am not one to wear very bright colors or patterns, and low contrast makes a more subtle color work design.

Photos

Fireplace Cooking Exp. 1: Beans

My first experiment was the obvious thing to cook in a Dutch oven over a fire: beans!

I soaked a pound of dry pinto beans in water overnight. In the morning, I drained them, added them to the pot, and covered with fresh water. I wasn’t sure how long the beans would take, so I put it over a low fire about mid-morning.

After about an hour, the beans were almost tender already. So I seasoned them with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and a few dry bay leaves. I added one yellow onion, roughly chopped, and 12 ounces of smoked pork sausage, sliced.

I checked them an hour later. The beans were tender and dark. The broth was tasty. But it was only midday!

So I set the pot on the hearth for the rest of the day. Before starting white rice cooking on the stove, I hung the pot back over a small fire to warm the beans.

That, above, is the result. We ate them spooned over peppered white rice with green beans on the side.

My first experiment was a huge success. I can see us eating a lot of fireplace-cooked beans this winter. It was warm, comforting, and filling. Perfect for an evening before a low-20 degree F night!

Fireplace Cooking: A New Series!

Our new house has a fabulous fireplace.

It isn’t as efficient as a wood stove for heating the whole home, but it keeps our living spaces toasty warm.

And, see that bar and hook at the top? That’s for hanging a cast-iron pot, a Dutch oven.

I knew as soon as I saw it that I wanted to learn to cook over that fire. After all, we would be burning wood to heat the home anyway, right? Why not use the energy to cook at the same time?

I hope to experiment frequently over this winter with cooking over this fire. And I’m calling the series Fireplace Cooking (aren’t I creative? Ha!).

If you want to see which of my experiments succeed and which fail miserably, subscribe via the WordPress platform or via email. Or follow me on Instagram (@belovedbrowneyesblog) or Facebook (Beloved Brown-Eyed Girl Blog).

Eight Dollars in a Three-Year-Old’s Pocket

Sprout spent her saved-up birthday money recently. She had $8 in her jeans pocket heading into Walmart.

First, she bought something she needed.

Well, she didn’t need a new comb. But, in a toddler’s world of necessities and wants, I would rank comb closer to the former. She was careful. She browsed the entire hair section, gently touching glittery hair ties, packs of neon hair bows, and “funny-looking” headbands.

But she didn’t let any of those things dissuade her. She “needed” a new comb. A pink one. The only pink comb came in a pack of 2 with a black one. “I don’t need two,” she said. “But I want pink. At least when the pink one is all used up, I will have the black one!”

Two combs for $2 (and some change). I decided, internally, to cover the change and taxes because she isn’t quite ready to learn about rounding and “giving to Caesar what is Caesar’s.”😉

Then, she chose something to give away.

She wanted to buy a toy for her new baby sister. I explained that she had $6 left, and that if she bought for her sister, she might not have money to buy any toys for herself.

That was alright by her. She was determined that she wanted to spend her own money on a toy for her baby sister.

She looked at bigger toys that light up, play cell phones, and large stuffed animals. Finally, she found a box of small plush rattles.

A small toy for a new baby, $2. It was “just right,” though she was not sure her sister would like it. “But maybe she will.”

Finally, she bought something fun for herself.

With $4 remaining, she looked up and down every toy aisle. What caught her eye was a stretchy, soft-bodied “life-like”… lizard. The very last one, and it didn’t have a tag. She was so sure this was what she wanted.

So I tracked down an employee who gave me the shelf tag to take to the cashier.

A $3 lizard for herself.

My heart was full, and I am still in awe of this child.

Everything about the experience amazes me yet.

Her restraint. She didn’t once ask me for more money so that she could buy something bigger or “better.”

Her determination to buy each of the things she wanted with the money she had.

Her generosity in thinking of someone else before herself. Someone she has not yet met, in fact! She didn’t choose the toys she liked best for someone else (the light up ones). She carefully considered what the other person would enjoy.

Her joy and pride in doing this by herself (mostly) and being successful.

I’ve tucked her first receipt away in her baby book. I know this is a memory I will share with her into her adulthood. Such sweet innocence and purity found in just $8 in the hands of a three-year-old.